I woke up with a little extra pep in my step today. It is draft day, which is something like Christmas morning for NBA junkies. The first thing I did after waking up was check the CelticsBlog message boards to make sure that nobody on the Celtics was traded during the night. Instead I found that Shaq had finally been dealt to Cleveland for a salary dump. How does that change the landscape? Does it change any plans that Danny has? I hope not.
I'm still expecting to see something happen tonight. Something none of us has heard about yet. Probably involving Ray Allen. With that said, I hope nothing happens. I just can't envision a major trade that accomplishes the goal of making us better for this year and for the future. Maybe Ainge can. Or maybe he's thinking the same way but will get a phone call with an offer that he just can't refuse tonight. That's what can happen on draft night.
Even before today, we've seen Shaq, Richard Jefferson, Mike Miller, Jamal Crawford, and the 5th pick in the draft trade hands. There's a very good chance we could see Amare Stoudemire, Tracy McGrady, and any one of the top 6 picks moved today. Cleveland is not done dealing. Phoenix is not done dumping. That's pretty exciting stuff to watch play out.
But what does all of this mean for the Celtics? It means we have to keep an eye on the shifting market to find opportunities to make ourselves better. It means that we have to recognize that competitors are making improvements. But it doesn't mean we have to make a drastic move just to keep up. We do have to improve, but it is more important to get the starting lineup healthy and rested for the playoffs next year. That means upgrading the bench.
The safest way to do that is through free agency and by offering the expiring contracts of Tony Allen and Brian Scalabrine around the league (perhaps waiting till the trade deadline to do so). These moves won't make for an exciting draft night, but they might make for an exciting NBA Finals. Lest we forget that this team was really, really, really good this year before KG went down. I say lets keep the band together and give them some more firepower off the bench. We can deal with tomorrow tomorrow. I want one more shot at a ring with the current core in tact.
Draft night is a lot of fun for us NBA junkies. I just hope it is pretty boring for Danny and company.